Criminal Justice System

Criminal Justice Process
After a crime has been Discovered,
evidence is gathered and follow-up
investigations attempt to reconstruct
the sequence of activities leading up to and including the criminal
event. Efforts to identify suspects are initiated.
2. WARRANT: An arrest warrant issued by a judge provides the legal
basis for an apprehension of suspects by police.
3. ARREST: In an arrest, a person is taken into custody, limiting the
arrestee’s freedom. Arrest is a serious step in the process of justice.
During arrest and questioning, defendants are usually advised of their
constitutional rights, or Miranda Rights.
4. BOOKING: Booking is an administrative procedure where pictures,
fingerprints, and personal information are obtained.
4. FIRST APPEARANCE: Within hours of arrest
suspects must be brought before a magistrate (a judicial
officer) for an initial appearance. The judge will tell the
defendant of the charges against them, advise them of
their rights, and may provide the opportunity for bail.
6. PRELIMINARY HEARING : The prosecution must
produce evidence to show probable cause that the
defendant committed the crime. This step is sometimes
combined with the initial appearance. The next step
depends on if the crime is a misdemeanor or felony. If a
misdemeanor the judge will set a date for a trial. If a
felony the case will go before the grand jury. The grand
jury will decide if there is enough evidence to indict
(formally charge) the defendant.
THE INITIAL APPEARANCE: Must be held within 48 – 72 hours after
arrest in order to protect people from being put in jail and forgotten (habeas
WRIT OF HABEA CORPUS: A writ that directs the person detaining a
prisoner to bring him or her before a judicial officer to determine the
lawfulness of the imprisonment.
7. INFORMATION: A formal, written accusation submitted to a court by
a prosecutor, alleging that a specified person has committed a specified
7a.INDICTMENT: A formal, written accusation submitted by the court by
a grand jury, alleging that a specified person has committed a specified
offense, usually a felony.
8. ARRAINGNMENT: The first appearance f the defendant before the
court that has the authority to conduct a trial. The accused stands before
a judge and hear the information, or indictment, against them as it is
read. Defendants are again notified of their rights and are asked to enter
a plea.
9. ADJUDICATION: A criminal trial may be held, or the defendant may
decide to enter a guilty plea. A criminal trial involves an adversarial
process that pits the prosecution against the defense. In most trials, a
jury hears the evidence and decides issues of guilt or innoncence, while
the judge ensures the
Fairness of the proceedings.
10. SENTENCING: After the person has been convicted it is up to the
judge to determine the punishment. Prior to sentencing, a sentencing
hearing is sometimes held in which attorneys for both sides can
present information to influence the judge’s decision.
11. CORRECTIONS: The corrections period begins following
sentencing. Corrections involves a variety of sentences that can be
imposed on a defendant. (Community Supervision, Community
Service, Jail Time, Prison Time, Treatment Programs).
12. REENTRY: Not everyone who has been convicted of a crime goes
to prison. Community Supervision (Probation) imposes requirements
or restrictions upon offenders. Offenders are required to check in with
a probation officer on a regular basis. After a defendant has served a
portion of his prison term he may be freed on parole. Like probation,
parole may come with obligations and requires the offender to check
in with a parole officer.
Absolute Certainty
Beyond a
Criminal Jury Verdict
Non-Suggestiveness of
Clear and
Civil Trial Decision
Take Case to a Jury
Arrest, Search,
Stop, Frisk,
Prima Facie
Probable Cause
Reasonable Suspicion
Mere Hunch
No Basis for Knowledge
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Classifications of Crimes
• Class C Misdemeanor
– Fine up to $500 (ticket)
– Cannot be arrested
• Speeding or Open Container
• Class B Misdemeanor
– Up to 180 days in jail
– $2,000 fine
• Class A Misdemeanor
– Up to 2 years in jail
– $4,000 fine
Classifications of Crimes
State Jail Felony (SJF):
 180 days to 2 years
 $10,000 fine
3rd Degree:
 2-10 years
 $10,000 fine
2nd Degree:
 2-20 years
 $10,000 fine
1st Degree:
 5-99 years
 $10,000 fine
 Death
 Life without Parole
Copyright © Texas Education Agency 2011. All9rights reserved.
Images and other multimedia content used with permission.
“Terry Frisk”
Terry v. Ohio
– Unusual Conduct
– May be armed and dangerous
– Protection of self and others
– Suspicion of crime and weapon to be used
– Careful pat of outer clothing
– Alone and no backup
– Emotions or behavior of suspects
Fourth Amendment
• “The right of the people to be secure in
their persons, houses, papers, and effects,
against unreasonable searches and
seizures, shall not be violated, and no
Warrants shall issue, but upon probable
cause, supported by Oath or affirmation,
and particularly describing the place to be
searched, and the persons or things to be
Plain-View Doctrine
Coolidge v. New Hampshire
• The initial intrusion must be lawful or in
proper position to view the property.
• The discovery must be inadvertent.
• It must be immediately apparent that items
are evidence of a crime, contraband, or
subject to seizure
Exclusionary Rule
• CCP 38.23
• No evidence shall be admitted into a criminal
trial that was obtained in violation of
constitutional rights
• Mapp v. Ohio
– Illegally seized evidence could be excluded from
both state and federal cases
Fifth Amendment
Grand jury
Double jeopardy
Due process
Just compensation for government takings
Double Jeopardy
• Exceptions to Double Jeopardy
– Convicted and asks for a new trial
– Convicted and the case is overturned
– The case results in a hung jury
– Can be tried at both the state and federal levels
for the same crime
More On The 5th Amendment
• The Grand Jury indictment rule does not apply in a time
of war.
• You cannot be tried twice for the same offense.
• You cannot be forced to be a witness against yourself.
• You cannot be arrested, convicted, or executed without
due process of law.
• The government can seize your land but they have to
pay you just compensation. This law is referred to as
“Eminent Domain.”
Copyright © Texas Education Agency 2011. All rights reserved.
Images and other multimedia content used with permission.
Sixth Amendment
• Speedy and public trial
• Impartial jury
• Informed of the nature and cause
of the accusation
• Confrontation of witnesses
• Compulsory process of witnesses
• Right to an attorney
Eighth Amendment
• No excessive bail
• No excessive fines
• No cruel and unusual
Criminal Justice System
 The police may arrest
people for probable
 The police may also
arrest a person by
securing a warrant
from a judge.
A good reason to believe that a
suspect has been involved in a
A legal paper, issued by a court,
giving police permission to make an
arrest, seizure, or search.
Due Process
Due process is mentioned twice in the
• Fifth Amendment: “No person shall…be
deprived of life, liberty or property without
due process of law.”
• Fourteenth Amendment:“No state shall
deprive any person of life, liberty or property
without due process of law”